Why do today’s women appear more subservient to men than were our mothers?

This morning started on a most interesting note - as is typical with my wife, since we always engage in very enlightening, thought-provocking, and edifying discussions - after she told me about an event she witnessed, when a female colleague was violently confronted, at work, by her lover's spouse, threatening to beat her up for apparently wrecking her marriage, and attempting to snatch her husband.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


Quite naturally, our discourse moved to why women, especially wives, usually resort to attacking the “other woman” – yet, leaving their husbands, or male partners, largely unscathed, without holding them strictly to account for their infidelity, or even divorcing, or “breaking up” with them, since they, obviously, either instigated, or consented, to such an illicit affair?

As to be expected, there can never be one straight answer to these complex issues, most particularly, anything that pertains to human relationships – more so, when emotional feelings, love, and marriage are concerned.

However, one outstanding factor that we agreed upon with my wife was the “unequal” nature of most relationships – whereby, the man is largely the predominant partner, particularly, financially, materially, and influentially, thereby, wielding more power – such that, their female partners would either find it extremely difficult to live without their support, or purely unwilling to leave behind the immense comforts, luxuries, and privileges on offer.

Therefore, their immediate natural reaction is to ward off any potential rivals.

Such a most disturbing, but real, thought, led my wife and I to then ask ourselves, why do women, in this day and age, still prefer “unequally yoked” relationships – whereby, the man will be the dominant partner, be it financially, materially, or is more influential and famous?

In spite of all the amazing great strides the world, including our own country, has made, in so much as, female empowerment, especially in educating the girl-child, are concerned – why on earth, do we still find our daughters deliberating choosing a man based on their financial, material, or influential clout, who will clearly be a senior partner in the relationship?

Why can our daughters not build their own strong financial, material, and influential bases – without relying upon men – then, choose a husband, or male partner purely based on mutual and reciprocal love, without one being the more desperate or needy – since, such skewed relationships are a recipe for the type of shameful mayhem witnessed by my wife?

I remembered how my own parents’ marriage was, in stark contrast to the seemingly backward relationships we have today – which appear more befitting the nineteenth (19th) century, than a modern day world.

When my mother fell head over heals with father, in the late 1960s, she was working as a general nurse at Torwood Hospital, in Redcliff – yet, her sweetheart, had been blacklisted as a teacher by the Rhodesian regime (for his strong and fearless opposition to colonial rule), as such, was unemployed, and quite clearly, without much gainful and sustainable employment prospects, for the unforeseeable future…considering that, independence was nowhere in sight at that time.

Nonetheless, my mother was truly an independent-minded lady – who had even taken herself through school, due to the severely impoverished nature of her parents, and had spent school holidays working at her mission learning institution, as payment for her education – and, thus, did not base her choice for a husband-to-be on someone who would take care of her, but purely on love.

If she wanted a car, she bought one on her own. If she wanted a house, she bought one. Whatever she desired, she made sure she would get it herself.

For as long as I can remember, these two loved each other tremendously, and my mother never treated my father, either as a inferior, or as a superior – but, as an equally yoked couple – which, kept their marriage strong till the day he tragically drowned whilst fishing (his life-long passion), and died, on 31 August 2000.

Of course, he was subsequently, removed from the Rhodesian blacklist when Zimbabwe attained her independence in 1980 – nearly, ten (10) years after they married – eventually, spending the next twenty years as a most successful teacher.

Understandably, the image of my mother has always been engraved in my mind as the gold standard of what a modern-day woman should be – which, also strongly influenced and shaped the criterion of the woman I chose to be my wife.

However, what is very disappointing and truly shameful is that today’s ladies appear to have turned back the clock of their own emancipation and independence to the ancient times – worse than my own parents’ period.

It only needs one to merely watch the television, or go on social media, and witness those pathetic, disgraceful, and shameful music, commercial, or so many other videos and pictures of women willingly, and even proudly, flaunting themselves as nothing more than sex objects – packaged and designed entirely for the pleasure of men, and to entice them.

At times, I find myself rhetorically asking my wife – why do we even bother educating the girl-child, when all they aspire to be is be a “man-pleaser”, whose worldly desires can only be fulfilled by a man?

Why can we no longer have women who do not need anything from men – except genuine life-long love, compassion, and companionship – without, reducing themselves to subservient subjects, who are nothing more than glorified “slay queens”, even in marriage?

As long as the prevalence of such “unequally yoked” relationships continues, the world will never be rid of men who ride roughshod over women – since men know that their female partners will find it nearly impossible to let go of the privileges and comforts that attracted them to the man.

Furthermore, women will never stop regarding other women as competitors and rivals for “their” men – who should be confronted, instead of their own clearly wayward cheaters.

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263733399640, or email: [email protected]

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